With use of prescription opioid pain medications on the rise, it is increasingly important for clinicians to effectively manage the medication adherence of their chronic pain patients. The American Pain Society and American Academy of Pain Medicine guidelines for chronic opioid therapy state that “clinicians should consider periodically obtaining urine drug screens or other information” as part of their plan of care.1
Can you tell if your pain patients are using their pain medications correctly?
In a national study, the majority of patient samples screened showed one or more abnormalities indicating potential misuse, abuse or diversion issues. 2
- “Evidence from recent studies suggests that monitoring the behavior alone of patients on chronic opioid treatment will fail to detect potential problems revealed by urine toxicology testing.”3
- In one study, 27 percent of patients with no behavioral issues had a positive urine screen for illicit or non-prescribed drugs.3
There are many reasons why pain patients may not be taking their medications as prescribed. Patients may:
- Choose not to take their medication regularly due to fear of addiction.
- Take too little, or none at all, because of cost or side effects.
- Take too much because of inadequate pain control.
- Abuse the medication intentionally.
- Divert pain medication – whether unintentionally or intentionally.
Having better information helps you treat your patients with a higher standard of care.
In order to reduce medication misuse and abuse, it is important to assess whether your chronic pain patients are taking their medication correctly. It’s vital information for assuring that your patients receive the right treatment for the best outcomes—and protecting the safety of both your patients and your practice.
Pain medication monitoring solutionsSM with Ameritox provide physicians with a more complete picture of each chronic pain patient’s medication use. This information allows physicians and their patients to discuss whether:
- A patient is experiencing a change in symptoms.
- An additional medication was prescribed by another provider.
- A patient is taking medication “as needed,” routinely, or at all.
- A patient is taking potentially dangerous illicits.
- A patient is binging or hoarding medication.
Don’t take chances with your opioid patients. Trust Ameritox to help you identify potential misuse, abuse or diversion issues. Request to speak to an Ameritox representative by filling out an online form or call us at (888) 355-6313.
1. Chou, R., et al. (2009). Opioid treatment guidelines: Clinical guidelines for the use of chronic opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain. The Journal of Pain, 10(2), 113-130.
2. Couto, J.E., Romney, M.C., Leider, H.L., et al. (2009). High rates of inappropriate drug use in the chronic pain population. Population Health Management, 12(4), 185-190.
3. Katz, N. & Fanciullo, G. (2002). Role of urine toxicology testing in the management of chronic opioid therapy. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 18(4), S76-82.